All-stars Bonck, Homza turning heads at Arizona Fall Classic
Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Oct 10, 2014
A smooth-hitting first baseman from Ketchikan and a slick-fielding shortstop from Anchorage are gaining the most attention among a group of Alaska Baseball Academy players participating in this week’s Arizona Fall Classic.
Ketchikan’s Nathan Bonck has hit and pitched well while Anchorage’s Willy Homza has fielded beautifully and held his own at the plate, each drawing interest from professional and college scouts.
Bonck shined against the Diamondbacks of British Columbia, pitching two innings of scoreless relief in last night’s 1-0 loss.
“He wasn’t throwing super hard, mid-80s, but he’s a big 6-5 lefty up there throwing free and easy,” ABA director Tony Wylie told me.
Bonck has the same relaxed look at the plate. He crushed a triple to provide Alaska with its best scoring opportunity.
“He’s got a really pretty left-handed swing with bat speed,” Wylie said.
Pro scouts are keen on Bonck while the college guys like Homza.
“He’s getting a lot of looks, especially from Ivy League schools,” Wylie said. “He’s a switch hitter, a smooth fielding shortstop.”
Homza and Eagle River’s Mike Rosenberg were selected to play in the prestigious Arizona Fall Classic Academic game, which is open only to players with a 3.5 GPA and SAT score of 1,700 or better.
“I gave the kids a speech about the importance of grades and how that helps create leverage because if schools are competing for you, it’s going to provide a better opportunity and there’s a higher probability of getting your college paid for,” Wylie said.
“We stress the importance of the classroom. That’s why we’re here, to help kids get into school. But they can help themselves. Our job is between the lines. Their job is in the classroom.”
Both Bonck and Homza banged out base hits in today’s 2-1 win in seven innings over Baseball Northwest of Oregon. South’s Jonny Homza, Juneau’s Nathan Klein and Wasilla’s Nolan Monaghan also collected hits for Alaska.
ABA manufactured runs after Bartlett’s Logan Williams was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and South’s Julito Frazzini plated the winning run thanks to an RBI groundout.
On the mound, South’s Tommy Koloski started and pitched five innings before giving way to relievers Josh Fetko of Service and Monaghan.
This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.